【文献】Learned Helplessness #1[第1校正:2012-06-10丑三つ時]
カテゴリ: ◇CoIntelPro:《関連書籍》


Metin Başoğlu and Susan Mineka


Controllability and uncontrollability

Uncontrollable stress produces associative and motivational deficits

" Even more consistent and dramatic than the effects of predictability are the effects of controllability over traumatic events. It has long been thought that humans strive for a sense of what has variously been called control, competence, effectance, or mastery
over their environments (e.g. Rotter 1966; White, 1959), and research indeed shows that a majority of animals and humans, when given a choice, prefer to control (for reviews, see Mineka & Hendersen, 1985; Overmier, 1988). However, extensive experimental study of the differential effects of exposure to controllable versus uncontrollable stimulation only began in the late 1960s. The seminal investigations in this area were those of Overmier, Seligman, and Maier ( Overmier & Seligman 1967; Seligman & Maier, 1967). These investigations first coined the term 'learned helplessness' to describe a syndrome appearing in a majority of animals exposed to a long series of inescapable (or uncontrollable) shocks, but not in animals exposed to the same amount of escapable (or controllable) shocks. As first described, the most prominent aspect of this syndrome was the striking failure of animals initially exposed to uncontrollable shocks to later learn to escape or avoid shocks that were potentially controllable in a different situation. These investigations hypothesized that when as organism is exposed to uncontrollable traumatic events, it may learn to expect that it was no control over outcomes. Such learning was thought to produce both associative and motivational deficits. The motivational deficit was presumed to involve a reduced incentive to attempt to gain control in future situations resulting from a belief that responses would be ineffective in producing relief. The associative deficit was presumed to involve an
impaired ability to detect response-outcome contingencies in future situations where responses to exert control over outcomes (e.g. Seligman, Maier & Solomon, 1971). A third emotional deficit was also hypothesized based on observations of increased passivity and apparent reductions in emotional reactivity to the shock.

From the outset, this learned helplessness theory, which postulates associative motivational and emotional deficits as mediating the effects that occur following exposure to uncontrollable traumatic events, was quite controversial. Over the years, a variety of alternative theories were out forth to explain the same class of effects (often known as proactive interference or learned helplessness effects). Although space constrains precludes a review of all the various theoretical accounts that have emerged (e.g. for reviews, see Anisman, Kokinidis & Sklar, 1981; Maier & Seligman, 1976; Maier & Jackson, 1979; Mineka & Hendersen,
1985; Weiss, Glazer & Poherecky, 1976), it is important to detail at least some of the vast array of additional consequences of exposure to uncontrollable stressors that has emerged in the past two decades. Many of these effects were discovered, at least in part, through efforts to test competing theoretical accounts of the basic learned helplessness effects first reported in 1967.
The primary focus of this brief review will be on results found in the animal literature because the intense physical stressors that have been used in animal experiments (e.g. electric shocks, near drowning from cold water swims, defeats in fighting) closely resemble in strength and modality those used in the human torture situation. Human experimental research on the learned helplessness phenomenon has typically used somewhat less intense stressors (at least in the physical sense) such as insoluble discrimination problems and uncontrollable loud noise. Furthermore, the human experiments on this phenomenon have generally not used as wide a range of dependent variables as have been used in the animal literature."


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